A Tory MP who was a key aide to Boris Johnson today says all home care costs for older people should be axed.
Backbencher Danny Kruger, who was the Prime Minister's political secretary and whose mother is Great British Bake Off star Prue Leith, calls for a shake-up of care funding in a pamphlet published by think-tank Demos.
Under his model, all home care costs would be funded from national insurance contributions.
For residential care, the first basic element worth up to £30,000 would be funded from NI.
After that, residents would use cash from their own NI contributions, a “social insurance” pot into which they have paid, or fund their own stays until they are down to their last £15,000 of savings – not counting the value of the family home.
There would be a total lifetime cap of £100,000, after which the local council would pay.
Crucially, a family home should not have to be sold to pay for care and could be passed on to younger generations.
Outlining plans for a new “care commitment”, Mr Kruger said: “The problem which lies beneath the underfunding of the social care system is that as a society we do not really respect elderly people, or working age adults with care needs.
“Nor do we properly value the people who, paid or unpaid, look after them.
“This is why social care has always been the Cinderella of the public services, with underinvestment by successive governments largely accepted by voters.
“We have built a model that pushes people with care needs, carers and care workers to the margins of our society – out of sight, out of mind, and out of pocket.
“That now must change.”
The PM promised a plan to tackle the social care crisis on the day he entered No10 in July 2019.
He said: “I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.”
However, a blueprint is yet to be published.
Mr Kruger, who is close to No10, says his care commitment would be a pledge signed by the Government, the local authority and the family of the person with care needs that “they will each fulfil their respective responsibilities toward that person’s care”.
He writes: “For government, the commitment is to guarantee a generous funding package for all, regardless of assets, income or contributions.
“For the local authority, the commitment is to provide whatever further funding is necessary, above what the individual can afford to contribute themselves.
“And for the family, their commitment is to do whatever is reasonably within their power to support their relative, including looking after them at home for as long as this is practical and in their relative’s best interests.”
County Councils Network chairman David Williams said: “This report contains the type of bold thinking that will be required if we are to finally answer the question on how we pay for adult social care in England, and will no doubt provide much food for thought for policymakers as it is one of many possible ways to fund social care.
“Most importantly, the report makes it clear that the success of a reformed system is dependent on social care being firmly rooted in local communities.
“This is yet another piece of evidence that shows why councils should continue to deliver care, retaining their commissioning and system leadership role.”
The Mirror is campaigning for Fair Care for All.